Winters Community Library serves up more than just books

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The children streamed out of the library and into the conference room, dropping their backpacks against the wall before taking a seat on the floor with their friends. “Python Ron” was putting on a demonstration, and this was the opportunity to see lizards, spiders and even an anaconda on a school night. The children were noisy and excited. On the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 6 the many manifestations of the Winters Branch Library were fully on display. Teenagers studied and chatted at the tables in the magazine section. Several people sat at the computer island while others walked between the shelves picking out books. The children in the R.I.S.E. after school program finished their homework while high school volunteers assisted. After the elementary school students completed their work they rushed in to see the animal show with the R.I.S.E. volunteers. The children cheered and gasped whenever “Python Ron” (real name Ron McGee) announced the next animal he was going to pull out from the many containers behind him. “You will probably never see another one of these again,” McGee said before he lifted an enormous black-throated monitor lizard out of its box. Students and adults alike gasped at the first glimpse of the lizard that was roughly the size of a small child. Black-throated monitor lizards are native to Tanzania, and grow up to 7 feet in length and can weigh 60 pounds. “Does he eat humans?” one child asked after McGee said that this species of lizard will eat any meat that it can get its jaws around. “No,” McGee said with a smile, “you’re not on the menu.” The Winters Community Library provides a multitude of services beyond just lending out books, movies and study space. Performances like “Python Ron’s…” are frequent, some of them planned and sponsored by the Winters Friends of the Library. Libraries have been synonymous with books for so long that people can be unaware of the non-literary devices that can be rented from the Winters library. Currently the most popular devices in the Winters library are the personal hot spots, which can provide a house with internet access, and Google Chromebook laptops. These items are rented so often that the librarian on duty was surprised that they even had one to display. Hot spots and laptops can be rented from the library for a seven day loan period. This fall, the Winters branch of Yolo county library will be acquiring two new pieces of technology. The library will be able to start renting GoPros, which are compact action cameras that can be mounted to many surfaces, and will even host the county’s travelling 3-D printer in October. Beyond the educational programs and access to free internet and 3-D printing technology, the library has a multitude of services that card holders can tap into without even entering the library building. The Yolo County Library will send materials to any library card holding resident who has, “a disability, illness or lack of transportation,” that would prevent them from getting to the library. For more information about signing up for the Books by Mail program, email BooksByMail@yolocounty.org or call 530-757-5580. Anyone with a library card can now rent videos, music, ebooks and audiobooks directly to their mobile devices. By downloading the Overdrive app, library patrons have access to thousands of titles, just by using the barcode on their library card. For more information, visit yolocounty.lib.overdrive.com. The Yolo County library even provides free online test preparation for anything from career certifications to the PSAT, SAT, GRE, LSAT and MCAT. Library card holders can use their barcode number to access test preparation materials from the Gale Test and Education Reference Center. 

For more information about online library services, search the Yolo County Library’s website from yolocounty.org.

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